Open Letter to Mr. Marc Benioff

Mr. Marc Benioff


The Landmark, One Market

Suite 300

San Francisco, CA 94105

Re: Thanks For Being A Stand Up Kind of CEO

Dear Mr. Benioff,

After a long week of meetings, beers and lunches I found myself in front of my laptop last night looking through my social media pages only to find myself reading an article about you and your company,, and your reaction to the new economic intolerance bill coming out of Indiana

Bravo Mr. Benioff, for having the business will, the economic courage and the presence of mind to not only stand up but to also say, “you know, this is wrong. And I for one feel comfortable enough with myself, my shareholders, my employees and my clients to say so”

The political collusion of recklessness and the utilization of intolerance and ignorance being portrayed by Plastic Republicans these days is not only stagnating, it is damn near stifling for those of us who understand the fundamental basis of our republic, and the inherent awfulness of the concentration of political entitlement by a few, over the economic disenfranchisement of those who see no point in participating in citizenship to begin with; not because they aren’t interested, because their financially-strained brains keep saying to themselves,

“why do I care what anyone in power does or does not do, because how on earth should this economic intolerance bill in Indiana matter to me? I am neither gay, live in Indiana nor in business for myself; I just have to feed me and pay my light bill next week”.

Hell, I for one would love to see you visit Chattanooga, TN to see the progressive internment of young folks all around town: public servant and not, black and white, gay and straight, Protestant Catholic and Jew, male and female who are doing and saying as much as they can to get folks to understand what you are saying as well.

As you well know, it is not the alchemy of thoughtlessness and lack of consideration that derives our citizen formula, but rather the brightest and best ingredients that can make or break our local, regional and national economic buffet we all are trying to eat from, while sustaining generations of us to come. And for business folks like you who care enough to speak out, all while tap dancing your way through the muck of not starving yourself, your shareholders or your employees by cutting your business public nose off via your personal philosophical knife, I applaud you for your public courage and reaction to Indiana’s new intolerance law this past week.

It is business chefs like you who have the ability to change the menu as you see fit, for after all, and last time I checked, you can spend your money anywhere you damn well please. And frankly, if Indiana doesn’t want your business, we sure as hell do down here in Chattanooga.

As I am sure you already know, but it bares repeating, there can be reverence in relevant thought via culture and citizenry, with or without a religious brand, which unites us all in the understanding of tolerance and patience over absolutism and generational tariffs; thus catapulting all of us forward into much safer waters with far less economic riptides created by the generations before us, so long as folks like you keep wielding your business marketplace telescope in the right direction.

I believe we digital business folks can stay true to the fundamental belief that all of us can make a difference, regardless of the speck of sand it appears we are throwing at the flood of intolerance currently headed our way

And I cheer folks like you who cannot simply put your head back down in your economic sands and pretend not to see the bull eating it’s own bullshit, like a cow nursing it’s own calf, only to kill his calf as it starts to walk on it’s own.

I for one feel it is our civic duty as entrepreneurs to oppose those who use religion and the affiliation of economic affliction as political shovels rather than tools, lest we forget where these kinds of sentiments bury all of us in the end

And Indiana’s “Freedom of Religious Act” should foretell and warn all people, religious or not, of the gravity of our situation, both near and far. Regardless of whether I am in Tennessee and you are in California

Religion and politics is like lightening meeting a snake. One never knows if the snake will live or die if hit by lightening, and yet the snake always seems to want to throw his rod in the air for safe-keeping. And I guess whether or not lightening strikes are good or bad depends on our perception of who is creating the lightening in the first place.

Something you and I know all to well can make some of us, who get my point, cringe with despair of the existence of the rod in the first place

It should also come as no surprise to anyone that the current abundance of in-fighting between parties and politicians is no different than our forefathers understanding of economic imprisonment by both.

You see, we can all make a difference as long as people like you keep stepping out from the shadows of the tall grass and show folks like me how it’s done.

Whitney and Martin understood this, so do you I hope.

It is business people like you who are unapologetic about taking up the arms against intolerance, not through warfare, but through the simple economic use of marketplace; hopefully forever making a huge difference in the grand scheme of things.

Franky, your actions should send a strong message encouraging these Plastic Republican politicians who prescribe the potion that government is bad for business, all while selling new government laws, via some sort of twisted version of constitutional establishment, be warned by business people like you that their intolerance and ignorance will not be tolerated by your investment dollars.

Here, here Mr. Benioff!

I applaud your brevity last week and invite you to my Urban Lawn dinner table in Chattanooga, TN, where if you come: we will feast on fine southern cuisine, wonderful California wine, and we will pray and thank the almighty that there are still folks like you who understand, like John and Twain understood, why Jesus wept…

God Speed,

Michele Peterson

“A Work In Progress Human Being and Small Business Person”